Food Safety Support in London
For advice on improving your compliance with London food safety standards, consult our team of specialists for a food safety support plan that you can trust. Read below our food safety services in and around London.Food Safety Management Systems Production
Since January 2006, food safety legislation in this country has required every food business to have a documented Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that is based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This is a systematic process for identifying hazards that can occur in your food business and considering how likely they are to occur. Control measures are then put in place to prevent your food from being unsafe. Your Food Safety Management System manual must reflect what is happening in practice and your staff must be fully aware of the controls that are relevant to their job role. Your Food Safety Management System must set out the standards expected to be maintained throughout every aspect of your business from choosing your food suppliers through storage, production and safe service of food to your customer. We will work with you to design a fully bespoke Food Safety Management System with all the records required to demonstrate due diligence and the maintenance of controls. We can demonstrate that this is not as complex as you might consider and that we have the solution to your concerns. This process might require a number of visits and a regular review but will always be with your full approval and support.
We can carry out independent and confidential food safety support audits to assess compliance with legal requirements, best practice and that you are maintaining conformance with your own Food Safety Management System or HACCP. The audit will include a detailed review of procedures, working practices and documentation. We will bring fresh eyes to situations that you see every day. The results will be discussed and reported with a detailed action plan and agreed timescales based on cost effective recommendations integrated with any business development plans you might have. Audits are known to provide fresh, impartial advice leading to improved working conditions, reduced liabilities and increased staff participation and awareness of responsibilities.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (formerly “Scores on the Doors”) is used by local authority Environmental Health Officers for rating food hygiene standards in food premises. The scheme aims to improve hygiene standards in food premises and provide customer confidence in the standards they might expect to find if they choose to dine there (5 is highly rated). Ratings are available on all forms of social media and, as such, achieving a high rating has become ever more important. We can advise on cost effective and simple means to rapidly improve your rating. We can even arrange to meet with your Environmental Health Officers. Even if you are rated 5 we can ensure that you are maintaining standards and on course to repeat your success. I can guarantee that we will find areas for improvement! On the other hand, if you have received a poor rating, we can advise on simple steps to rapidly improve and arrange for your Environmental Health Officer to possibly revisit and re-score you within 3 to 6 months.
The approval of your food suppliers is an important pre-requisite control within your HACCP system. Having a policy in place also helps you to be able to demonstrate due diligence. In practice this can be time-consuming and take you away from focusing on your business. We can arrange to audit your suppliers on your behalf. This may just require a paper audit, especially if they are BRC, or SALSA accredited, or a site attendance and audit of their systems and practices. Either way, the results will be discussed and help to determine suitability.
UK food hygiene regulations require business to instigate, implement and maintain documented procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). HACCP principles consist of the following:
- Identifying any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.
- Identifying the critical control points at the step or steps at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or reduce it to acceptable levels.
- Establishing critical limits at critical control points which separate acceptability from unacceptability for the prevention, elimination or reduction of identified hazards.
- Establishing and implementing effective monitoring procedures at critical control points.
- Establishing corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a critical control point is not under control.
- Establishing procedures which shall be carried out regularly to verify that the measure outlined in the first and fifth points are working effectively.
- Establishing documents and records commensurate with the nature and size of the food business to demonstrate the effective application of the measures outlined in the first and sixth points.
Food safety regulations also require that you review the procedures and make any necessary changes if any modification is made to the product, process or any step. In general it is advisable to have a member of your team trained at a sufficiently high level to be able to properly understand your HACCP document and its requirements. We can produce for you a bespoke HACCP plan which contains clear practical procedures and easy to use HACCP forms which provide for due diligence and ensure you are monitoring food safety.
Food poisoning is an unpleasant illness that is caused by the consumption of food or drink that has been contaminated by bacteria, viruses or chemicals, including naturally occurring toxins. Incidents can often be directed to a restaurant for a number of reasons. Symptoms can start within a few hours or a number of days. We can assist in determining the most appropriate cause of the illness and if there is any responsibility. Such complaints can have a seriously detrimental effect on a business so it is important to react quickly, efficiently and responsibly. We can assist by ensuring you follow your Food Safety Management System procedures, arrange to take food samples to an accredited laboratory, liaise with all parties (complainant and Local Authority), interpret results and provide any necessary recommendations.
UK food hygiene regulations require catering operators to maintain documented procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have developed the Safer Food Better Business pack (SFBB) to help small businesses in England to meet this legal requirement. There are various versions for caterers, retailers, butchers etc. The FHRS scheme considers whether your Food Safety Management System is effective and whether you can prove that you are monitoring food safety. Your SFBB pack must reflect what is happening in practice and your team members must be fully aware of the controls that are relevant to their job role. We can assist in this process and provide coaching and support to ensure you complete the document and maintain its records fully. The visit will also include an audit and advice on practices and procedures being employed at your premises. The SFBB document is available to download free from the FSA website www.food.gov.uk/catering.
Let us take on the main responsibilities for ensuring compliance for your business. This usually takes the form of a one-year bespoke contract designed to allow you to focus on what you are best at running a successful business. We will design a simple to understand Food Safety Management System relevant only to your business and produce the appropriate records to ensure due-diligence and compliance with legal standards. This will be done with the involvement of your staff and with your support to produce a strong team ethic and a clear food safety culture throughout your organisation. Regular audits will be agreed ensuring appropriate standards are maintained. The management choice to ensure a 5-rated premises!
A step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level. We can assist in identifying CCPS as part of your wider HACCP plan.
From December 2014 new Government regulations on Food Information will come into place. These require certain food allergens to be specifically highlighted in the ingredients list on a food label. Food allergens will also need to be declared on unpackaged foods so caterers and retailers will need to have accurate allergen information for each food product and menu item.These legislation changes have been designed to protect the public from allergens found in the food they eat. These regulations arise from EU legislation identifying the 14 most common food allergens and requiring that they and their derivatives are declared on food labels. Manufacturers and retailers must carry out an allergen risk assessment and impose controls to these ingredients throughout the production process. The allergens are:
- Cereals containing gluten – wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, kamut or their hybrid strains
- Nuts – almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan, brazil, pistachio, macadamia, queensland, peanut
- Celery and Celeriac
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
Compliance to the new standards will be required of all businesses operating in the food manufacturing and food service sectors.Failure to comply may cost your business money and damage reputation. You could also be responsible for loss of life or serious damage to health.
How prepared are you for the Food Information Regulation changes?:-
Do you have product specifications?
Can you name all FOURTEEN allergens?
Do you know the allergens in your menu/products?
Are you sure there is no risk of cross contamination in your kitchen or other production areas?
Can you be sure that your packaging does not contain allergic substances?
Have you provided accurate and specific allergen information on your menus or on point of sale items?
Are you confident that you will not have customer complaints about allergens in your foods?
We can help ensuring you comply and ascertain food allergen information, consider its use in your premises, help staff to understand responsibilities and present it appropriately on your menu for customers
We can arrange to carry out food sampling to ensure compliance with national standards for microbiological criteria. This can be as part of a regular food safety audit or randomly to monitor food-handling practices and ensure they are not contaminating food. Food sampling can also beas a response to food poisoning allegations and foreign body investigations. Full microbiological or material analysis will be carried out by accredited laboratories and the results interpreted to determine if satisfactory food standards in London are being maintained or improvements in operations are required. We will generally test for the following bacteria:
- Aerobic Colony Count (ACC)
- Escherichia Coli (E.coli) including the E.coli O157 strain
- Staphylococcus Aureus
- Clostridium Perfringens
- Bacillus species e.g. Bacillus Cereus
- Listeria species e.g. Listeria Monocytogenes
We can also carry out swab sampling to ensure cleaning processes are appropriate and being carried out effectively and also to determine if personal hygiene standards are being maintained.
Are you looking to remove, prevent or deter pest infestation at your premises?
Pest issues can have devastating effects on a business. We act not only against dangerous and disease carrying pests, but with a focus on food safety and health and safety concerns, protecting your hard earned reputation. Don’t let pest issues develop – act swiftly.
With significant experience in identifying the causes and control of pest activity in your premises, we can direct you to leading pest control contractors who will ensure you receive honest, reliable and cost effective services, identifying the causes of the problem, providing swift control and ensuring these activities will not recur.
We work closely to ensure complete satisfaction with recommended contractors who are all registered members of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), using technicians committed to a humane and professional approach to pest management at all times.
For a no obligation survey and pest control quote, please contact us
We have a wide range of experience and can offer advice on new premises design or existing premises re-design, extension or system changes. This will include advice on location, services provision, through-flow of products from receipt, production, storage and final delivery. We have experience in advising on equipment placement, separation of low and high risk operations, suitable equipment, solutions and finishes.